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Mechanicsville in Hanover County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Cold Harbor Battlefield

Richmond Battlefield

 

—Richmond Nat’l Battlefield Park – 1862/64 —

 
Cold Harbor Battlefield Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
1. Cold Harbor Battlefield Marker
Inscription. Here Grant and Lee, with combined armies numbering some 180,000 men, fought for two weeks in May and June of 1864. They came here directly after the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and North Anna River. Grant stretched his line to seven miles here and attacked, but his assaults, especially on June 1 and 3, failed. Undaunted, he marched his army south to Petersburg and began the long process of cutting Richmond’s supply lines.

Although these fields and woodlots around Cold Harbor witnessed the determined assaults and bitter close combat customary to 1864 battles, they also saw the evolution from open field fighting to trench warfare. Here the peculiar boom of mortars and the menacing crack of a sharpshooter’s rifle came to dominate the front.

Cold Harbor Battlefield Tour
The 1.2 mile tour road offers good views of both Confederate and Union fortifications. A more thorough understanding can be obtained by walking the self-guided 1.0-mile trail that begins behind the Visitor Center. Cold Harbor National Cemetery is just east of here. The historic Garthright House is across from the cemetery, and a county park beside the house offers more examples of well preserved entrenchments from the battle.

Right Marker: You are standing on ground that saw action in two separate campaigns. The battle of
Confederate Artillery at Cold Harbor image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
2. Confederate Artillery at Cold Harbor
A four-gun battery of the Richmond Fayette Artillery was posted at this location, within sight of the marker, during the Battle of Cold Harbor.
Gaines' Mill occured on June 27, 1862, and was the largest of the Seven Days battles. Most of that battlefield is across the road from here. Two years later the armies fought here at Cold Harbor for nearly two weeks. Confederate General D.H. Hill, reflecting on this place, wrote: "It was thought to be a great thing to charge a battery of artillery or an earthwork lined with infantry .... we were very lavish of blood in those days."
 
Erected by Richmond National Battlefield Park - National Park Service.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Battlefield Trails - Civil War marker series.
 
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 37° 35.103′ N, 77° 17.221′ W. Marker was in Mechanicsville, Virginia, in Hanover County. Marker was on Anderson Wright Drive, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is near the Visitor Center in the Cold Harbor Battlefield Unit of Richmond National Battlefield Park. Marker was in this post office area: Mechanicsville VA 23111, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. We Must Hold This Line (here, next to this marker); Walk in the Footsteps of History (here, next to this marker); Cold Harbor
Earthworks on the Cold Harbor Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
3. Earthworks on the Cold Harbor Battlefield
These well-preserved earthworks, located just north of the marker, saw intense action on June 1 & 3, 1864 during the Battle of Cold Harbor. Confederates in these fortifications successfully held off multiple frontal assaults by Union troops.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Killing Fields (within shouting distance of this marker); Read's Batallion (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Cold Harbor (within shouting distance of this marker); The Ultimate Sacrifice (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Nowhere To Go (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Mechanicsville.
 
More about this marker. The bottom of the marker contains a battle map of the Battle of Cold Harbor. The upper left of the marker features a map of Richmond National Battlefield Park, with the location of the Cold Harbor Battlefield indicated. On the right marker is a picture of soldiers constructing fortifications at Cold Harbor.

This marker was replaced by a new one named Cold Harbor (see nearby markers).
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Take a Virtual Tour By Markers of the NPS Cold Harbor Battlefield.
 
Also see . . .
1. Cold Harbor. CMSAC Battle Summaries webpage.
Richmond National Battlefield Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
4. Richmond National Battlefield Park
Marker is located near the Visitor Center in the Cold Harbor Battlefield Unit of Richmond National Battlefield Park.
(Submitted on January 4, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Cold Harbor. Richmond National Battlefield. (Submitted on January 4, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Notable EventsNotable PlacesWar, US Civil
 
Cold Harbor Battle Map from Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
5. Cold Harbor Battle Map from Marker
Richmond Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 24, 2007
6. Richmond Battlefield
This national battlefield park contains sites relating to three separate events of the Civil War. These include the 1862 battles for Richmond known as the Peninsula Campaign, the 1864 battle of Cold Harbor, and the September 1864 Union assaults against the Richmond defenses along the Fort Harrison line just north of the James River.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 3,474 times since then and 115 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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